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Patients’ preference for triptans and other medications as a tool for assessing the efficacy of acute treatments for migraine

Abstract

Oral triptans are effective and well tolerated acute treatments for migraine, but clinical differences between them are small and difficult to measure in conventional clinical trials. Patient preference assesses a global measure of efficacy and tolerability, and may be a more sensitive means of distinguishing between these drugs. In a series of studies, patients consistently expressed a clear preference for triptans over their usual non–triptan acute medications, e.g., analgesics and ergotamine. Direct comparator studies of patient preference with oral triptans showed that patients could distinguish between different triptans, and between different formulations of the same triptan. Patients could even distinguish between the three oral doses of sumatriptan. The most frequently provided reasons for preference were speed of response and overall effectiveness. Patient preference is a sensitive clinical trial endpoint and physicians should consider using it when reviewing the efficacy of acute migraine medications.

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Correspondence to A. J. Dowson.

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Open Access This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0 ), which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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Dowson, A.J., Tepper, S.J. & Dahlöf, C. Patients’ preference for triptans and other medications as a tool for assessing the efficacy of acute treatments for migraine. J Headache Pain 6, 112–120 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10194-005-0164-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10194-005-0164-3

Key words

  • Migraine
  • Triptans
  • Acute treatment
  • Patient preference
  • Patient satisfaction